Elemental Thinking: #16 Apple "1984"
"1984" introduced the Apple Macintosh personal computer. It was conceived by Steve Hayden, Brent Thomas and Lee Clow at Apple's advertising agency Chiat/Day. And it was directed by Ridley Scott (Blade Runner, Alien). The commercial is considered a watershed event and a masterpiece in advertising. It is doubtless the most memorable and successful commercials of all time. It ran once during the third quarter of Superbowl XVIII between the Washington Redskins and Oakland Raiders. The only other time it ran was in December 1983 at 1:00 am before signoff on KMVT in Twin Falls, Idaho. This qualified it for awards ceremonies.
Based on the George Orwell novel 1984, the commercial depicted a dystopian future ruled by "Big Brother." It was aimed directly at IBM. Immediately, it was lauded by critics and loved by consumers. The spot won numerous awards, including the Grand Prix at Cannes. It truly was the launching pad that separated Apple from competitors, beginning their incredible rise to success.
The production of the commercial entails remarkable intrigue and back story. When it was presented to Apple's Board of Directors, they hated it and ordered Chiat/Day to pull it from the Superbowl. However, Steve Jobs realized it was brilliant. He surreptitiously told Chiat/Day to say they had sold the time and weren't going to run the commercial. But they didn't sell the time, and ran the spot anyway. As they say, the rest is history. Beyond Elemental Thinking, brilliant.